The world has marked yet another grim milestone in its fight against the coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases worldwide crested 600,000 overnight. As of Saturday morning ET, data from Johns Hopkins University reflected more than 614,000 globally — with the U.S. leading other countries in number of cases.
The world crossed the 500,000 milestone just about two days ago.
The death toll remains highest in Italy, where beleaguered hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients and more than 9,100 people have died in recent weeks. Italy recorded its highest one-day jump in death toll Friday — 969 recorded deaths — though the number of new cases there has begun to slow.
In nearby Spain, authorities have struggled with a surge of its own, with more than 72,000 total cases confirmed as of Saturday morning. Health officials there reported a massive spike in the number of fatalities linked to the virus recently, with at least 832 new deaths reported in a 24-hour span. The death toll in Spain stands well upward of 5,600, as of Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., where President Trump just signed a $2 trillion economic rescue package — the largest in modern American history — the number of confirmed cases continues to climb in the hardest-hit regions. New York City alone has reported more than 26,000 cases and at least 450 deaths, as of Friday night, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who warned that its medical personnel and supplies will be overwhelmed in roughly a week "if we don't get the help we need."
"This is a race against time," he tweeted Friday night.
As the numbers have grown in New York City, so too have concerns in neighboring regions that the city's residents, in fleeing the virus, may spread it outside the city. Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio reports that some rural counties in upstate New York have urged city emigres to stay away, ordering Airbnb-style rentals to shut down during the outbreak.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, though, says he does not have "any travel ban on my agenda."